A winning formula: an interactive virtual museum tour with engaging online conferences
How to showcase your museum in a unique way that makes participants want to visit in person? House Jean Monnet of the European Parliament, shares their success story. Over the past year, they organised 4 different online events during which they invited their participants to an interactive virtual museum tour that was almost an exact replica of the physical museum in France. In addition, visitors could also participate in inspiring conferences with a strong focus on interaction with the audience. Event organiser Debora Righetti talks about her experience of organising a virtual event. You can read about it in the interview below.
What is the Jean Monnet House?
The Jean Monnet House is a charming farmhouse located in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France. This pittoresque cottage was the home of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of Europe. After the Second World War he spent most of his life in this house, making groundbreaking plans which would lead to the foundation of the first European Community. Today the Jean Monnet House is owned by the European Parliament and is publicly accessible as a museum to learn about history of European integration and about one of the architects of today’s Europe.
What was the purpose of your events?
We had different target groups, with each different objectives. One the one hand we organised an international conference for an academic audience. Here the objective was mostly to inform and allow participants to discuss the matter. Next to that, we also hosted educational days to advertise our educational offer with French professors. However, all our events had one overarching aim, namely to promote House Jean Monnet, as well as make participants want to come and visit the museum in real-life. In addition, all events included a networking room to encourage interaction between participants and speakers.
Did you have any doubts beforehand?
Yes, to be honest we had several doubts because this was the first time we organised events on a virtual event platform like Thola. For example: we wondered if our participants would be able to connect easily, to understand how the virtual museum tour works, to navigate etc. Also from our event organisers’ perspective we had some questions about how to welcome our attendees virtually or how to keep them engaged throughout the event.
How was your experience in the end?
We have had a positive experience with Thola. We really liked the fact that instead of just sending the meeting URL, we were able to provide a unique event experience to our participants. This was possible by fully customising our virtual environment in Thola which brought the House Jean Monnet virtually to life. The team of Once Storytelling did a fantastic job of designing both the exterior and interior of Jean Monnet’s house in such a realistic way that it felt like you were literally walking around in it. Furthermore, we received some positive responses from participants, who expressed interest in physically visiting the museum.
What are your key learning points?
Although Thola offers multiple features to inform and guide the attendees from one room to another, we noticed during our first event that our audience required a bit more information. Therefore we created more detailed announcements and welcome messages in Thola, but also used the conferences to explain the concept more extensively. We really noticed a difference by doing that. The event analytics confirm that we were able to keep our audience engaged.
Would you recommend Thola? Why?
Absolutely! Thola’s virtual event platform allowed us to create an innovative online event experience for our participants. Offering an interactive virtual museum tour is a good way to create more publicity and excitement for your museum. Looking back at our virtual events over the past year, we are proud that thanks to Thola, we have been able to introduce our museum to our target audience in a new and pioneering way.